July 21, 2024

Keith Cornick

Honest Finances

Guide to Payment Processing

Guide to Payment Processing


Payment processing is the process by which a business accepts payment from its customers. Many businesses have the option of using either cash or credit cards to receive payments, but there are some businesses that only accept cash payments. These types of businesses can also utilize payment processing services as an alternative to accepting cash. Payment processing is done through an institution called a bank or credit union and uses electronic transfer methods such as wire transfers and automated clearing house (ACH) transactions to move money between accounts in order for a customer to pay for goods or services purchased from your business. There are many different types of payment processors available depending on what type of transaction you need processed, so let’s look at some key differences between each one!

Guide to Payment Processing

Payment Processing: A Brief Overview

The process of collecting money from customers for goods and services is called payment processing. It’s an essential part of doing business, especially if you’re an online merchant or a mobile retailer. Payment processing can be done by either the merchant or a third party, depending on your needs and preferences.

Payment processors charge fees to cover costs associated with running their businesses as well as profits they make off every transaction they process–and these rates vary depending on what kind of service they offer. In addition to charging fees for providing these services, some processors also take additional charges related directly to the cost of using their technology (for example: interchange).

How Does Payment Processing Work?

Payment processing is a system that allows merchants to accept credit card, debit card, ACH and PayPal payments. Payment processing is an essential part of running a business because it makes it possible for you to receive money from customers and suppliers.

There are two types of payment processors: merchant acquirers and independent sales organizations (ISO). Merchant acquirers provide all the technology necessary for accepting credit cards while ISOs only provide their services as an intermediary between a merchant and its bank or financial institution (FI).

Who Can Use Payment Processing Services?

Payment processing is a service that allows you to accept payments online, in person, by phone and mail. Payment processors handle all aspects of accepting credit card transactions so you don’t have to worry about the technical details. You can use this tool for any business that needs to accept payments from customers but doesn’t have their own merchant account or gateway (e-commerce platforms like Shopify).

There are several types of payment processors:

  • Payment gateway providers
  • Payment service providers (PSPs)

Different Types of Payment Processing Systems

There are three main types of payment processing systems: merchant accounts, payment gateways and acquiring banks. These systems allow your business to accept credit cards from customers in a variety of ways.

  • Merchant Accounts

A merchant account allows you to accept payments directly from your customers’ bank accounts or credit cards through a third party processor (usually a bank). With this type of setup, your business will have an agreement with the processor so that when someone pays with their card or bank account number at checkout time, funds get transferred directly into your bank account rather than going through the customer’s own financial institution first. This makes things easier for both parties involved because there are fewer steps involved in making sure the transaction goes smoothly–and it also means less risk exposure for both parties since neither one has access to each other’s sensitive information like Social Security numbers or account numbers at all times during every transaction process; only when needed do they share such information together via secure portals provided by each respective party involved.* Payment Gateways

How to Choose a Payment Processor for Your Business

Here are some of the most important things to consider when choosing a payment processor:

  • Security. You want to make sure that your customers’ financial information is safe and secure, so look for a company that keeps all personal data in compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).
  • Ease of use. The easier it is for customers to pay online, the more likely they are going to do so! The best payment processors provide tools like live chat support or 24/7 phone support so that you can help out customers who may have questions about how things work on your website or app.
  • Cost effectiveness/value added services provided by the payment processor itself (i.e., not just someone else’s products). For example, if you’re selling something online then there might be an opportunity cost associated with taking credit cards versus another form of payment such as PayPal which offers free shipping via its marketplace but takes slightly higher fees than some other options out there on top of those costs associated specifically with using them as well

Find the right payment processing system for your business.

When it comes to choosing a payment processing system, there are several factors to consider. You need to make sure that the processor meets your needs and has the ability and expertise in handling your business’s specific needs. In addition, you should check out any fees charged by the processor and compare them with those of other processors. It is also important for businesses with high transaction volumes or high risk transactions (e.g., online gaming) that their chosen payment processor meet industry standards such as PCI compliance so they can rest easy knowing their customer data is secure.

Lastly but not leastly: reliability! Your customers want fast service when they make an online purchase–and so do you! If there’s anything worse than slow checkout times on websites (besides pop-ups), it’s lost sales because customers gave up waiting too long before giving up entirely on completing their order at all!


Payment processing is a complicated subject, and we hope this article has helped you understand the basics of how it works. If you still have questions or would like to learn more about our services, please contact us today!